Advice on how to keep children safe at home, when out and about, and what to teach them about emergencies.
Between the ages of 3-5 years children become more independent and are keen to do things for themselves. This is also the time when they
may spend more time away from home, and their main carers, as they start nursery, preschool, and finally full time school.
It is important to encourage a child's self-reliance and independent skills by allowing them to learn to do things for themselves and by providing them with encouragement, support, supervision, age-appropriate knowledge and understanding, to help them thrive safely in the outside world.
As children get older they become more aware of danger, such as not to touch sharp objects or hot stoves, and safety measures needed when
they were babies and toddlers may be needed no longer i.e. safety gates. However, children under 5 years of age are still at high risk of
accidents in the home and need good supervision and a safe environment around them.
Home Safety Tips:
• Make sure you have all safety equipment needed for young children.
• Stair gates can be kept on stairs if necessary until a child is 5 years old.
• Make sure children are kept out of the kitchen (or are closely supervised while in there) while pans are on the stove or food is cooking.
• Keep all sharp objects, such as knives, scissors, or razors, high out of reach or in a locked drawer or cupboard.
• Have working smoking alarms and carbon monoxide detectors installed and check them regularly.
• Never leave matches or lighters lying around, always keep them in a safe place.
• Have radiator covers and fire guards where needed.
• Keep all cleaning and laundry products out of reach.
• Keep toys and items away from doorways and off the stairs as these areas should be clear at all times to prevent trips and falls.
• Use door stoppers on internal doors to prevent injury to little hands and fingers.
• Keep electrical wires tight and out of reach and empty plug sockets should be covered with plastic covers.
• Keep medicines and first aid kits out of reach.
• Keep alcoholic drinks out of reach or locked in a cupboard.
• Make sure upstairs windows and balcony doors are shut.
• Have a fire escape plan for emergencies and make sure all family members know the routine.
• Constant supervision is needed when children are in the bath or are near water (even very shallow amounts) and they never should be left alone, even for short times.
• Meals and snacks should be eaten sitting down to prevent choking and foods should be cut up appropriately for young children.
Outside areas and the garden:
• Make sure all areas are clean and free of rubbish.
• Don't leave tools around the outside area.
• All ponds and swimming pools should be suitably covered and supervised closely when in use.
• If you have pets, make sure play areas are free of animal faeces.
• Shed and out buildings should be locked.
• Any large holes, pits, or drains should be covered.
• All outdoor play equipment should be assembled correctly and checked for damage and wear and tear regularly and closely supervised while in use.
When you have young children, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with basic first aid or to take a paediatric first aid course
online or in your local area. You will then be prepared for any emergency, from cuts and bruises to choking or bumps to the head, and
you'll know what to have in your first aid box at home and in your bag when out and about.
For more information visit: http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/first-aid-advice/first-aid-for-parents.aspx
It is important to help a young child understand, cope, and deal with an unexpected emergency, usually in the home or garden, if something happens to the person caring for them (i.e. Parent/Grandparent) and they are the only other person in the home at the time. Teaching children to understand what counts as an emergency, and when they might need to call the emergency services, could be vital in saving someone's life. By the age of 3 years children will be aware of the emergency services. They will have seen them out and about, heard sirens on emergency vehicles, and may even have had a visit or talk from one or more at nursery or preschool. Talking to a child about the people who help us, and the services they provide, can be a good place to start. A children's book on the subject (purchased or borrowed from a library) can also help.
What children need to know:
• What a real emergency is: if they cannot wake someone up or cannot get a response if someone is ill or has had a fall.
• How to call 999 on a landline or mobile: show them how they would do this (even if a mobile is locked with pass code it can still be used in an emergency).
• They must tell the operator what has happened.
• Their home address: teach your child their home address (or as much of it as possible). If they are often cared for at relative's house teach them that address as well.
• How to open the door to let in the emergency services.
• Not to be afraid: reassure your child that the emergency services are there to help and there is no need to be scared.
Between 3-5 years of age children will begin using I.T. (information technology) a bit more, such as ipads, laptops, computers, and
tablets. These can be educational, helping children to develop their I.T. skills, but precautions need to be taken to protect children
from all kinds of online threats.
Parental Locks: Make sure all parental locks and securities are in place to prevent children accessing sites they shouldn't. As children grow towards 5 years of age, and use the internet more, this should be monitored closely by their carers.
Download: Games and activities (make sure they are age appropriate) should be downloaded onto devices for children to watch or play offline, rather than allowing young children to freely roam on the internet. Many devices have an 'aeroplane' function which disables all wireless and mobile connections.